Quitting smoking

Quitting smoking: 10 ways to resist tobacco cravings

Tobacco cravings can wear you down when you’re trying to quit. Use these tips to reduce and resist cravings.

For most tobacco users, tobacco cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. But you’re not at the mercy of these cravings.

When an urge to use tobacco strikes, remember that although it may be intense, it will probably pass within five to 10 minutes whether or not you smoke a cigarette or take a dip of chewing tobacco. Each time you resist a tobacco craving, you’re one step closer to stopping tobacco use for good.

Here are 10 ways to help you resist the urge to smoke or use tobacco when a tobacco craving strikes.

1. Try nicotine replacement therapy

Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement therapy. The options include:

  • Prescription nicotine in a nasal spray or inhaler
  • Over-the-counter nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges
  • Prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking medications such as bupropion (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix)

Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies — such as nicotine gum, lozenges, nasal sprays or inhalers — can help you overcome intense cravings. These short-acting therapies are generally safe to use in combination with long-acting nicotine patches or one of the non-nicotine medications.

Electronic cigarettes have had a lot of attention recently as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. However, more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and the long-term safety of these devices.

2. Avoid triggers

Urges for tobacco are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked or chewed tobacco most often, such as at parties or bars, or while feeling stressed or sipping coffee. Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place to avoid them entirely or get through them without using tobacco.

Don’t set yourself up for a smoking relapse. If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, keep a pen and paper nearby to occupy yourself with doodling rather than smoking.

3. Delay

If you feel like you’re going to give in to your tobacco craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes — and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time. Try going to a public, smoke-free zone. These simple tricks may be enough to derail your tobacco craving.

4. Chew on it

Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts, or sunflower seeds — something crunchy and satisfying.

5. Don’t have ‘just one

You might be tempted to have just one cigarette to satisfy a tobacco craving. But don’t fool yourself into believing that you can stop there. More often than not, having just one leads to another— and you may end up using tobacco again.

6. Get physical

Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce their intensity. Even a short burst of physical activity — such as running up and down the stairs a few times — can make a tobacco craving go away. Get out for a walk or jog.

If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, pushups, running in place, or walking up and down a set of stairs. If physical activity doesn’t interest you, try prayer, needlework, woodwork, or journaling. Or do chores for distraction, such as vacuuming or filing paperwork.

7. Practice relaxation techniques

Smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Resisting a tobacco craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualization, massage, or listening to calming music.

8. Call for reinforcements

Touch base with a family member, friend or support group member for help in your effort to resist a tobacco craving. Chat on the phone, go for a walk together, share a few laughs, or get together to commiserate about your cravings. A free telephone quitline — 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) — provides support and counseling

9. Go online for support

Join an online stop-smoking program. Or read a quitter’s blog and post encouraging thoughts for someone else who might be struggling with tobacco cravings. Learn from how others have handled their tobacco cravings.

10. Remind yourself of the benefits

Write down or say out loud the reasons you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These might include:

  • Feeling better
  • Getting healthier
  • Sparing your loved ones from secondhand smoke
  • Saving money

Remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than doing nothing. And each time you resist a tobacco craving, you’re one step closer to being totally tobacco-free.

Quit smoking. Easy to say, however difficult to do, as many people who smoke can confirm. Encouraging people who smoke to cease saves billions in fitness care charges, promotes longer, more healthy lives, and restores misplaced productiveness, in line with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). Quitting smoking is a challenge, however, these days the substantial availability of many over-the-counter (OTC) nicotine alternative therapy (NRT) merchandises could make a massive distinction in assisting people who smoke cease.CHPA estimates that quitting smoking with OTC NRT merchandise may want to save $1.three billion in step with 12 months in direct hospital treatment charges withinside the United States.


In addition, information recommends that former people who smoke are really well worth a boom in the productiveness of about $1, three hundred to $1,800 in step with the worker in step with 12 months as compared with modern people who smoke. Of course, the fitness blessings of quitting smoking areas huge because of the monetary ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who smoke who cease may also lessen their threat of fitness issues consisting of lung and different cancers, coronary heart disease, stroke, breathing issues, and vascular disease, even as their lung characteristics and move can enhance via way of means of as a great deal as 30 percent.

In the latest study, CHPA analyzed 9 classes of OTC medicines, consisting of the ones for smoking cessation. Although smoking cessation merchandise has been a smaller part of typical OTC financial savings than different classes, consisting of hypersensitivity medicines, bloodless and flu merchandise, and gastrointestinal merchandise, the information shows that about 1.eight million people who smoke could now no longer searching for assist if OTC merchandise has been now no longer to be had.”In a state of affairs wherein OTC drugs aren’t to be had withinside the marketplace, an affected person could go to a doctor to get remedy or identified throughout regular running hours, inflicting them to overlook work,” in line with CHPA. The fundamental forms of OTC NRT merchandise to be had withinside the United States encompass nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and nicotine lozenges.


These FDA-permitted merchandises are to be had in a number of dosages, and they may be designed to assist lessen the nicotine cravings and withdrawal signs and symptoms that include quitting smoking. NRT merchandise may be bought in maximum pharmacies, and pharmacists can solve questions and assist people to pick which choice may match high-quality for them. For extra statistics approximately how OTC medicines make a distinction in smoking cessation and different regions of fitness.

It’s never too late to quit smoking. Quitting smoking now improves your health and reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and other smoking-related illnesses.

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